Imam Marwan Gill writes:
You might be surprised to hear that the UK as the host for an international gathering of Muslims. You might have expected an Islamic country in the Middle East, in Africa or in Asia, to be the place chosen for a Muslim convention. Every year, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community holds its international convention known as Jalsa in the UK. This year around 40,000 people from more than 115 countries participated in the Jalsa, including a delegation from Argentina. This event is not only a platform for Muslims to increase their spirituality, morality and Islamic knowledge, but is also an opportunity to invite Non-Muslims to clarify their doubts and to discover the true peaceful teachings of Islam. It is an open invitation extended to everyone who wishes to strengthen interfaith and interreligious brotherhood. It is also an open invitation to experience a gathering that seeks to underpin the ultimate objective of “Love for All, Hatred for None”.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is not a new brand of Islam, but rather was founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who claimed to be the Promised Messiah and Reformer of the Muslims known as “Mahdi”, and whose advent was prophesised by the Holy Quran and the founder of Islam – the Holy Prophet Muhammad, this occuring 1400 years ago. The Community was founded according to the Islamic prophecies to both reunite Muslims and guide them towards true Islamic values. The first convention of the Community was held in 1891 in a small village in India and till 1983 the international convention of the Community continued to be held in the Pakistani-Indian Subcontinent. But after being declared as Non-Muslims by the Pakistani government and becoming the habitual target for persecution and discrimination by other Muslim groups, the spiritual leader of the Community, known as the “Caliph”, had to move to the UK in 1984. The fundamental right of freedom of religion and belief which was established by the Holy Quran 1400 years ago, ironically is being practised in the secular Western world but being ignored now in many so-called “Islamic countries”.
Therefore, since 1984, the UK has become the residence of the spiritual Caliph and the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Consequently, the UK has become the “home” of more than 15 million Ahmadi Muslims worldwide and the host of the largest annual Muslim gathering in Europe.
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About Imam Marwan Gill:
Imam Marwan Gill was born on the 29th of May in Reutlingen, Germany. In 2009 he moved to London to study Theology, Arabic and Comparative Religions at the Private Institute of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, known as Jamia Ahmadiyya UK, graduating in 2016. He later served as an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community projects in countries such as Ghana, Spain, and the UK. In September 2017, he was appointed as Imam and Ambassador of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Argentina, being the first Representative of the Holiness and Caliph Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad- spiritual Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community- in Argentina. Imam Marwan Gill also acts as Interlitq’s Islamic Affairs Editor.